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Little Acorns Day


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COVID-19 Response


Controls Required/Recommendations

Additional Measures

Additional Actions/things to consider

Minimize the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus











Hand Washing

  • Follow handwashing practices advised by NHS.
  • Hand washing facilities with soap and water in place.
  • Ensure that sufficient handwashing facilities are available. Where a sink is not nearby, provide hand sanitiser at the entrance, in the rooms, outdoors and staff rooms (if no handwashing facilities available).
  • Staff must pay particular attention to handwashing before and after supporting children who need help with nappy changing, toileting or eating.
  • Staff must wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently than normal, including on arrival at the setting, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing, including children. Children can do this while singing their favourite songs.
  • Drying of hands with disposable paper towels instead of hand dryer (Paper towels should be the preferred way to dry hands after washing to reduce the risk of coronavirus contamination and spread, according to UK researchers).


  • Staff encouraged to protect the skin by applying emollient cream regularly


Staff to be reminded on a regular basis to wash their hands for 20 seconds with water and soap and the importance of proper drying with disposable towels. Also reminded to catch coughs and sneezes in tissues – Follow Catch it, Bin it, Kill it. Tissues will be made available throughout the Nursery.

Teach children to use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste.

Children and Staff were encouraged not to touch their faces (especially are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose).

To help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) reminding everyone of the public health advice.

Rigorous checks will be carried out by Nursery Managers to ensure that the necessary procedures are being followed.

Consider how to encourage children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs and repetition.

Ensure that help is available for children who have trouble cleaning their hands independently

Establish when and how hand washing will take place?


“Stop the spread of coronavirus” poster will be displayed.

“Guidance on hand washing” poster will be displayed.





Only staff, children and parents who are symptom free, have completed the required isolation period or achieved a negative test result should attend the setting.


Consideration should be given to limiting the number of staff in the nursery at any one time to occupancy levels on any given day.


Only parents who are symptom free, have completed isolation periods or tested negative will be able to drop off or collect their child.


Only one parent per family should be dropping or collecting their child.



Ensure that Parents and Staff Teams have access to:

COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance.

Do staff and parents have a clear understanding of the symptoms and covid-19 infection guidance?


How they feel about returning to work? How will they manage their own family situation?


Risk assessment shared with teams/sign agreement?


Is occupancy the same each day? What days could staff numbers be reduced?


What cover is arranged for staff who develop symptoms.


Share adapted sickness/attendance policy with Staff and Parents?


Good hygiene practices

Ensure that sufficient handwashing facilities are available. Where a sink is not nearby, provide hand sanitiser in the rooms, outdoors and staff rooms (if no handwashing facilities available).

Clean surfaces that children are touching, such as toys, books, desks, chairs, doors, sinks, toilets, light switches, bannisters, more regularly than normal

Ensure that:

  • Correct Handwashing and Cleaning guides are being followed correctly.
  • use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’)
  • ensure that bins for tissues are emptied throughout the day
  • where possible, all spaces should be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows) or ventilation units
  • prop doors open, where safe to do so (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation

Use outside space:

  • for exercise and breaks
  • for outdoor education, where possible, as this can limit transmission and more easily allow for distance between children and staff
  • although outdoor equipment should not be used unless the setting is able to ensure that it is appropriately cleaned between groups of children and young people using it, and that multiple groups do not use it simultaneously.

For shared rooms:

  • No more than 2 staff members in the staff rooms and offices to limit occupancy

Reduce the use of shared resources:

  • By limiting the amount of shared resources that are taken home and limit exchange of take-home resources between children and staff
  • By seeking to prevent the sharing of stationery and other equipment where possible. Shared materials and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected more frequently.

Pay extra attention on the importance of personal hygiene and washing of clothes following a day of work in the setting.

As much as possible, we try to prevent the sharing of food, drink, utensils, equipment and toys.


At mealtimes, children will be spaced apart as much as is possible and they wont be encourage to serve themselves to prevent any cross infection.


Meals will be dished up in the kitchen and all staff will continue to wear PPE equipment while preparing and serving food.


Reduce mixing within the setting by:

  • Accessing rooms directly from outside where possible
  • Considering one-way circulation to keep groups apart as they move through the setting where spaces are accessed by corridors
  • Staggering breaks to ensure that any corridors or circulation routes used have a limited number of children using them at any time
  • Staggering lunch breaks - children should clean their hands beforehand and enter in the groups they are already in; groups should be kept apart as much as possible and tables should be cleaned between each group.
  • ensuring that toilets do not become crowded by limiting the number of children or who use the toilet facilities at one time
  • noting that some children will need additional support to follow these measures (for example, meaningful symbols, and social stories to support them in understanding how to follow rules)






Clean surfaces that staff are touching, such as equipment and surfaces that are touched regularly particularly in areas of high use such as  door handles, light switches, doors, bannisters, keyboards, mouse, iPad’s and chairs, using appropriate cleaning products and methods.

Clean surfaces that children are touching, such as toys, books, desks, chairs, doors, sinks, toilets, light switches, bannisters, more regularly than normal.

Staff must wear disposable or washing-up gloves and aprons for cleaning. These should be double-bagged, then stored securely for 72 hours then thrown away in the regular rubbish after cleaning is finished.

Using a disposable cloth, first clean hard surfaces with warm soapy water. Then disinfect these surfaces with the cleaning products we normally use. Always paying particular attention to frequently touched areas and surfaces.

Staff must consider how play equipment is used ensuring it is appropriately cleaned between groups of children using it, and that multiple groups do not use it simultaneously.

Remove soft furnishings, soft toys and toys that are hard to clean (such as those with intricate parts)

High contact areas/objects are cleaned more regularly during the day with antibacterial wipes in classrooms.

Discuss with cleaning staff and staff the additional cleaning requirements and agree additional hours to allow for this.

Toys and equipment regularly and if any children sneeze or cough, the toys in the surrounding area are removed for miltoning and work surfaces/tables sprayed with Dettol antibacterial spray.

Bathrooms cleaned throughout the day as well as more stringent cleaning once the children have gone home.

Change daily cleaning rota: Toilets cleaned twice a day using standard cleaning products and sprayed with disinfectant after use, all high contact surfaces should be cleaned twice daily (table tops, light switches, door handles etc.) Toys should be cleaned at the end of each day, staff electronics e/g iPad, tablets, computers should be disinfected before and after use, bins should be emptied before they are completely full – at least once a day.


Will session times need to be adjusted to incorporate time for cleaning? 



Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person can be washed with other people’s items.

Do not shake dirty laundry, this minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.

Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry.


Bed sheets must be washed daily at 80 degrees - only one per child used


Are all staff aware of their responsibility in this area?


Cleaning and disinfection an area after someone with suspected coronavirus (COVID-19)

If an area has been heavily contaminated, such as with visible bodily fluids, from a person with coronavirus (COVID-19), use protection for the eyes, mouth and nose, as well as wearing gloves and an apron

Wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, and after removing gloves, aprons and other protection used while cleaning

All surfaces that the child or staff member has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected, including:

  • objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
  • all potentially contaminated high-contact areas

Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings, following one of the options below:

  • a household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants


  • if an alternative disinfectant is used within the setting, must be checked and ensured that it is effective against enveloped viruses

Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning.

Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags as outlined below.

When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example, upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning should be used.

Any items that are heavily contaminated with body fluids and cannot be cleaned by washing should be disposed of.





Social Distancing

Social Distancing -Reducing the number of persons in any work area to comply with the 2-metre (6.5 foot) gap recommended by the Public Health Agency.

Taking steps to review work schedules including start & finish times/shift patterns, working from home etc. to reduce number of staff on site at any one time, if possible. Also relocating staff to other tasks. 

Redesigning processes to ensure social distancing in place.

Avoid face to face meetings.

Social distancing also to be adhered during breaks.

Emergency revisions to the EYFS have been implemented which provides some flexibility on rations and qualifications to make this feasible.


Staff Teams should avoid physical contact with each other including handshakes, hugs, etc.


Where possible, meetings and training sessions should be conducted through virtual conference.


Consider allowing parents to enter the nursery for the purpose of settling in sessions if not if not doing so would cause a child distress. Consider measures to minimise contact between the parent and other children and staff.


Providers must meet the following indoor space requirements:

  • children under 2 years need 3.5 metres squared per child
  • 2 year olds need 2.5 metres squared per child
  • children aged 3 to 5 years need 2.3 metres squared per child


Staff to be reminded on a daily basis of the importance of social distancing both in the workplace and outside of it.



Children and staff should be spaced apart as much as possible, whilst ensuring children are kept safe and well cared for.


Management checks to ensure this is adhered to.

Ensure that children are in the same small groups at all times each day, and different groups are not mixed during the day, or on subsequent days.


Ensure that the same staff members are assigned to each group and, as far as possible, these stay the same during the day and on subsequent days.

At sleep time the beds will be spaced apart and the children laid to sleep in alternate positions (head up, head down) etc.

Ensure that wherever possible children use the same room throughout the day, with a thorough cleaning of the rooms at the end of the day.

Stagger break times (including lunch), so that all children are not moving around the setting at the same time.

Keep small groups of children together throughout the day and to avoid larger groups of children mixing.

Nappy change and toileting should be within the space allocated to each small group whenever possible.

Outdoor spaces should be used by “different small groups (“bubbles”) at different times of the day.


How can we organise groupings in accordance to their needs, such as knowledge of the child and friends?


How to separate larger spaces with equipment/barriers?


Can children sit with appropriate physical distance while eating? Removed self service and buffet style to minimize risk of infection.


Identify spaces in the nursery where gathering could occur? What can be done?


Could larger outdoor area be zoned for groups of children?


Review outdoor use rota?


Review staff break rota? 2 metres apart during lunch time in staff room.


Do parents/carers understand there will be limited time to discuss child’s needs? Alternatives: weekly phone call from key worker, text message, through my nursery child system.


Communicate to Parents drop off and collections expectations (only 1 parent/social distance – reminder poster/using tape to cordon off areas).


Have staff teams agreed on “virtual hug/high five”.



PPE in Educational Settings is only needed in a very small number of cases including:

Circumstances in which PPE is required

Staff looking after babies: 

  • ONLY when staff are doing the following high-risk activities:
    • Looking after a baby (including nappy changing) with a temperature or new continuous cough while waiting for the parents to collect them.

Equipment to use:

  • Aprons (single use)
  • Gloves (single use)
  • Fluid repellent surgical masks (change after each session of care).


Staff looking after children including those with complex needs ONLY when staff are doing the following high-risk activities:

  • Looking after a child with a temperature or new continuous cough while waiting for the parents to collect where there is, Close physical contact/ personal care, social distancing cannot be maintained and working with children where there is a risk of airborne bodily fluids- spitting or other bodily fluids .

Equipment to use:

  • Aprons (single use)
  • Gloves (single use)
  • Fluid repellent surgical masks
  • If there is risk of spitting, then eye protection is recommended.



  • Staff cleaning an area where a person with possible or confirmed COVID-19 has spent significant time (for example, where unwell individuals have slept or sat for several hours) or there is visible contamination with body fluids.

Equipment to use:

  • Aprons
  • Gloves 
  • Fluid repellent surgical masks
  • Eye Protection


PPE are now subject to ‘sessional use’ whereas gloves and aprons remain single use items. This means:


Masks: Staff can wear the same face mask for the whole of a ‘session of care’ (e.g. when keeping the mask on without taking it off during a range of activities). The duration of a single session in a mask will vary. Once the mask has been removed it should be disposed of safely. PPE should not be subject to continued use if damaged, soiled, compromised or uncomfortable.  PPE should not be re-used once it has been taken off.


Eye protection (if needed for cleaning. For when to use - see above). The same principles of sessional use described for masks above apply to eye protection.


Aprons and gloves are subject to single use as per Standard Infection Control Precautions, with disposal and hand hygiene after contact with individual children.

Staff need to be trained on putting on and taking off PPE safely.

We must ensure an adequate supply of essential supplies and contingency plans are in place to minimise the impact of any shortages of supplies. The setting will not be able to operate without essential supplies required for ensuring infection control.

A monitoring system for the usage of PPE is essential to ensure that a supply of stock is available to all who require it as and when required to meet the operational needs of the setting. When stocks are low, other options may be considered, such as the use of washable tabards. These items will be washed at a high temperature and separate to any other nursery washing.


In the case the supply of food is interrupted, procedures must be implemented to ensure the appropriate food alternatives are sourced and normal food safety and hygiene processes are followed.


Staff to be reminded that wearing of gloves is not a substitute for good hand washing.


Have resources been shared with staff?


Are staff clear about what PPE is needed to support infection control e.g. aprons and gloves for changing nappies/first aid?


Are there adequate supplies of PPE?


Are staff changing nappies when needed and not as part of a rota system to limit unnecessary changes?

Resources to use:

Poster: Putting on PPE

Poster: Taking off PPE

Video: Putting on and taking off PPE

Update changing nappy policy.


Waste Disposal


All waste must be disposed of in a hygienic and safe manner.

Tissues must be immediately disposed off.



How to teach children ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’?


Are there adequate bins provided in each room/area for children to throw away tissues?




All staff members must receive appropriate instructions and training in infection control and the standard operation procedure and risk assessments within which they will be operating.

Review when trainings such as Designated Safeguarding and Paediatric First Aid courses are due and seek advice.


Consider adjusting fire alarm procedures, for example assembly points, and how we will ensure that staff are trained in them.

Have policies, such as Covid 19 policy and temporary changes to: health and Safety, food safety, behaviour management, attendance and sick policy been communicated with staff?


Staff clear on cleaning procedures, PPE and risk assessment?


Do staff need additional training?


Does staff team available meet with requirements of EYFS?



Symptoms of Covid-19

If anyone becomes unwell with a new continuous cough, high temperature or anosmia (the symptoms of loss of smell and taste) they will be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance.

Nursery Managers will maintain regular contact with staff members during this time.

If a member of staff or child has developed Covid-19  (including where a member of staff has visited other work place premises such as domestic premises), our management team will contact the Public Health Authority to discuss the case, identify people who have been in contact with them and will take advice on any actions or precautions that should be taken.

All children who displays symptoms of coronavirus can now be tested and any members of their households – will also be eligible to be tested if they display symptoms of the coronavirus.

Staff must be vigilant about signs of a temperature and illness in the children.


Encourage staff members to download the app that the government is developing. This programme will include methods of contact tracing if a child or staff tests positive or had contact with someone that had.

To access testing parents will be able to use the 111 online coronavirus service if their child is 5 or over. Parents will be able to call 111 if their child is aged under 5.

Make sure staff teams are aware of what procedures to follow when a child becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature or anosmia in an education or childcare setting, they must be sent home and parents must be advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance. Follow guidance set out in our Covid 19 policy. The staff member responsible for the child during this time should be a staff member from their “small group/bubble”. The area must be thoroughly cleaned, please follow our Cleaning and disinfection an area after someone with suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance.



Is PPE easy to access if a child becomes ill at setting with suspected coronavirus?


Has an area been allocated as waiting area for a child who is ill?


Are parents clear on what they need to do if their child develops symptoms, such as isolate and contact 111?


Communication with Parents


Parents should receive clear communication regarding the role they play in the safe operating procedure and all measures being taken to ensure the safety of their children and themselves

COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance


Provide parents with a parent guide and keep parents updated, so parent understand and feel involved of our changes to practice and decisions made, plus their role in this situation.



How will they continue to be informed?


How will you support parents/carers choosing to keep their child at home/ check on child’s wellbeing and safety?




Attendance to the setting should be restricted to children and staff as far as practically possible and visitors should not be permitted to the nursery unless essential (e.g. essential building maintenance). Where essential visits are required these should be made outside of the usual nursery operational hours where possible.

Outings from the setting into the local community should be restricted unless there is limited outdoor space in the setting.



Have all health and safety compliance checks have been undertaken before opening?




Persons should not share vehicles or cabs, where suitable distancing cannot be achieved.

If transport is necessary, current guidance on the use of public transport must be followed.

Staff and parents should travel to the nursery alone.


Staff team, parents and children should be encouraged to walk, scoot or cycle where possible, and avoid public transport at peak times.



Do we need to allow flexible start times for those using public transport e.g. start at 8am instead of 9am?


Or finish earlier to avoid public transport peak times?




Management will promote mental health & wellbeing awareness to staff during the Coronavirus outbreak and will offer whatever support they can to help.

Children should be supported in age appropriate ways to understand the steps they can to keep themselves safe e.g. regular handwashing, don’t touch their mouth, eyes and nose.

Children should be supported to understand the changes and challenges they may be encountering as a result of Covid-19 and staff need to ensure they are aware of children’s attachments and their need for emotional support at this time.



Management Team will offer support to staff who are affected by Coronavirus or has a family member affected.

Regular communication of mental health information and open-door policy for those who need additional support.

Encourage Teams to try to focus on the things they can control, such as their behaviour, who they speak to and who they get information from. Every Mind Matters provides simple tips and advice to start taking better care of mental health.

If they are struggling with their mental health, advise them to see the NHS mental health and wellbeing advice website for self-assessment, audio guides and tools that they can use.

If they are still struggling after several weeks and it’s affecting their daily life or work, advise them to contact NHS 111 online or call NHS 111.


Consider children’s mental health and wellbeing and identify any child who may need additional support.


Posters/visual routines of hand washing, sneezing? Do staff know how to reinforce this practice?


What signs children can use with their friends when they would be hugging them? E.g. create a virtual hug.


How will staff talk about Covid-19 with each other and with children – adapt behaviour policy during this difficult time.


Consider settling children in and how support parents struggling with separation?


Display Domestic Violence Poster


How will we manage supervision and support for staff?


Vulnerable groups

Children and staff who have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable due to pre-existing medical conditions have been advised to shield. We do not expect people in this category to be attending the setting.

Clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) people are those considered to be at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Few if any children will fall into this category, but parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category.


A child or a member of staff who lives with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable), including those who are pregnant, can attend their education or childcare setting.

If a child/young person or staff member lives in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable, as set out in the guidance on shielding, it is advised they only attend a childcare setting if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and, in the case of children, if they are able to understand and follow those instructions. This may not be possible for very young children and older children without the capacity to adhere to the instructions on social distancing. If stringent social distancing cannot be adhered to, we do not expect those individuals to attend.


Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals are advised not to work outside the home. We are strongly advising our staff team, who are clinically extremely vulnerable (those with serious underlying health conditions which put them at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus and have been advised by their clinician or through a letter) to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe. Staff in this position are advised not to attend work. Read COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable for more advice.


Clinically vulnerable staff members or children who are at higher risk of severe illness (for example with some pre-existing conditions have been advised to take extra care in observing social distancing. We should endeavour to support this, for example by asking staff to support remote education or other roles which can be done from home.

If clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) individuals cannot work from home, they should be offered the safest available on-site roles, staying 2 metres away from others wherever possible, although the person may choose to take on a role that does not allow for this distance if they prefer to do so. If they have to spend time within 2 metres of other people, we must carefully assess and discuss with them whether this involves an acceptable level of risk.

Clinically extremely vulnerable and clinically vulnerable groups : are staff teams and parents clear on the government guidance?




Children should not be permitted to bring items from home into the setting unless absolutely essential for their wellbeing. Where this is the case items should be appropriately cleaned upon arrival.


All other resources and equipment must be cleaned regularly.



Have resources that may be difficult to keep clean been removed?


NHS Test and Trace service


Anyone with symptoms will be tested and their close contacts will be traced.


New guidance means those who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms, to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.


  • Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.
  • People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.


  • If those in isolation develop symptoms, they can book a test at or by calling 119. If they test positive, they must continue to stay at home for 7 days or until their symptoms have passed. If they test negative, they must complete the 14-day isolation period.


  • Members of their household will not have to stay at home unless the person identified becomes symptomatic, at which point they must also self-isolate for 14 days to avoid unknowingly spreading the virus.



Anyone with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a change in their sense of smell or taste will be asked to immediately report these symptoms and book a test at or by calling 119.



Children with EHC Plans


  • Will new an individual risk assessment (to consider):
    • What are the potential health risks to the CYP from COVID-19?
    • What is the risk to the CYP if some or all elements of their EHC plan cannot be delivered at all?
    • What is the risk if some or all elements of their EHC plan cannot be delivered in the normal manner or in the usual setting?
    • What is the ability of the individual’s parents or home to ensure their health and care needs can be met safely?
    • What is the potential impact to the individual’s wellbeing of changes to routine or the way in which provision is delivered?
    • Does the CYP have complex behaviour needs which will be challenging for the parents to manage over a long period of time?
    • Is the CYP looked after or previously looked after?
    • Is the CYP subject to a child protection plan?
    • Has the CYP or family previously had social worker involvement?
    • Is the CYP on the edge of social care involvement or pending allocation of a social worker?

Are there any additional pressures on the family? Living with elderly relatives, living with siblings with additional needs, financial pressure/poverty, difficult housing conditions, concerns for the parent’s mental health, wellbeing.

                              Hungry Little Minds

                              BBC’s Tiny Happy People

                              National Literacy Trust’s Family Zone

                              help children aged 2 to 4 to learn at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

                              London Learning at Home


Risk Assessment: To establish if a CYP with an EHCP should be in setting for their own health and safety or safer at home.




After School Club/Earlies and lates children



  • ensure parents are advised to keep children with any symptoms at home
  • frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices, spend as much as possible time in the garden.
  • regular cleaning
  • minimising contact and mixing between other bubbles.
  • physical distancing between groups of children and staff as far as possible
  • that individual groups use the same area of a setting throughout their time with us as much as possible
  • that the sharing of toys and resources are reduced

that any toys or resources that are shared can be easily cleaned between different groups’ use

Keep school children in their own bubble apart from other groups.


How will this be done? E.g Different entrance/exit/toilets/outdoor times etc

Earlies and late children to be kept in their original bubble. Maybe add hygiene practice – what will children joining or leaving bubble do?

Are children reminded what games/activities they can do? Are children washing hands? How and when? How/when areas cleaned before/after use? What with? Are toys/books being rotated? Toys washed at end of day/session etc?